Security for Everyone - Reviewing Quick Heal Internet Security 2011
Quick Heal Technologies, founded in 1993, is one of India’s largest providers of Internet security tools. While much of their focus has been on delivering security solutions to their local customers, they do have a global perspective and see themselves competing with the best solutions in the industry. In this review we will take a fresh look at Quick Heal Internet Security 2011 and see how effective this solution is at protecting your computer.
Quick Heal provides a 30 day trial of Internet Security 2011  and doesn’t require you to jump through any hoops before the download. The initial download is a pre-installer which brings down the remainder of the 207 MB installation file. The setup process is relatively straightforward and does not allow for any real customization. There is a point during the install where you are required to register and most, if not all fields, are required. Seeking registration is not necessarily a big deal, however, requiring information like a contact number and city is more than I am typically comfortable providing. The upside is the form has basic validation which means I was able to provide fake information as I saw fit.
Once the registration activation is complete the main interface is displayed. This is quickly followed by an initial update bringing Quick Heal Internet Security 2011 current with the latest updates.
I spent some time looking at how well Quick Heal integrated with Windows 7 and found a few problem areas. First, Quick Heal fails to end either the native Windows Firewall  or Windows Defender  applications. Second, I was able to end the Quick Heal services with little effort. A couple of them put up a fight but after 15 seconds of persistently shutting them down they failed to restart. Lastly, when launching the main interface you are presented with a UAC prompt , the same is true when choosing most of the options available from the Quick Heal system tray icon.
The first impression is not great. Quick Heal installs easily enough, if you are okay with the intrusive registration form, but the poor integration leaves much to be desired. In the next section we will get a better understanding of Quick Heal Internet Security 20 usability and options.
Ease of Use and Configuration
Most Quick Heal scan functions are available from the opening interface. Here you can choose from the scan menu which type of scan you would like to execute or select the File & Folders icon to adjust the scan settings.
The scan settings are complete when compared to other suites. You can easily access the quarantine, identify exclusions and create a scan schedule. Each interface is easy to follow and non-intimidating letting the user find what it is they seek in very few clicks. The navigation is light as you move through the various screens with a simple link back to the main area of configuration or to the initial dashboard.
While the scan settings present several standard options, the firewall settings are simply non-existent. Your only real firewall setting involves turning it on or off. There is no area for network or application rules nor is there a place to identify a profile type (Home, Work or Public). The latter is extremely helpful and something that has become more prevalent as consumer security solutions evolve.
Quick Heal also includes some tools in the Internet Security 2011 suite. These tools could prove helpful in many instances and include the following: Internet Explorer Hijack restorer, Anti-Rootkit, USB drive protection and a link for creating an Emergency CD.
Finally, Quick Heal includes modest reporting for various application activities. You will find reports for the different types of scans and a few dealing with network or firewall activity. Many of the reports would likely prove insightful if the proper activity was recorded. For instance, the test machine was scanned intrusively several times yet none of the scans triggered any firewall activity reports. We will look more into the firewall effectiveness and behavior in the following section.
Quick Heal Internet Security 20 is not difficult to use. If anything, they err on the side of too few options leaving little opportunity for the user to change specific settings. This is especially true where network and firewall activity is concerned. In the following sections we are going to dig into how effective Quick Heal is at protecting your system from local and Internet based threats.
Quick Heal has kept settings around the firewall to an extreme minimum. As mentioned previously, the only real firewall setting involves turning it off or on. You will not find a place to configure network or application rules but you can choose to turn off or on browser and phishing controls. Prompts are also non-existent, at least I was not able to force any to occur, regardless of how many remote scans I executed.
Speaking of remote scans, I like to use Nmap  when checking a system for open ports and to determine how much information can be attained from the target system. For Quick Heal the scan results could have been better.
Nmap found 11 open ports and identified the operating system with 100% accuracy. This tool considers any system with nine or more open ports to be one that could be vulnerable if attacked.
I can appreciate that Quick Heal wants to give their users an easy to use system with few options; however, I am not entirely sure the approach Quick Heal takes with their firewall is in the users best interest. It seems that, at a minimum, the firewall should allow for some basic application rules even if this only equates to allowing or blocking access. Settings aside, the effectiveness of the firewall also bears a bit of scrutiny. The lack of an ability to change profiles, therefore tightening or loosening firewall security, does not put the Quick Heal user in a good place if they want to improve the results shown above.
Antivirus and Antispyware Features
The scanning features of Quick Heal Internet Security 20 are pretty full featured. You have access to all the standard settings via easy to follow interfaces. The quarantine is readily available and provides the option of sending a quarantined file to Quick Heal. This feature could prove helpful if you consistently find Quick Heal quarantining the same safe file over and over.
Another opportunity to educate the Quick Heal team can be found in the DNA Scan setting. It appears DNA Scan will identify files that exhibit characteristics normally associated with malicious files. It is enabled by default as is the option to send suspicious files to Quick Heal. You can disable the submitting of files or DNA Scan all together if you wish.
While the reporting features seems to fall short where the firewall is concerned it is adequate when investigating scanner related activity. Each scan is logged in a summary list and double clicking a list item will display the scan details and associated findings.
I planted many malicious files before installing Quick Heal. Several of the files were identified successfully but some went unidentified. I took my testing to the Internet and before long found a malicious download in the form of a fake antivirus application. Internet Explorer cautioned against the download several times but I forged ahead, ignoring the warnings, and was able to download the malicious executable. Quick Heal never displayed a prompt. I took the test a bit further and forced a scan of the download directory and still Quick Heal was not able to identify the file.
Neither AV-Comparatives  nor AV-Test  have tested the Quick Heal solutions. Virus Bulletin  however, has included Quick Heal in their testing and has awarded the passing VB100 award in many instances. Despite the positive standing awarded by Virus Bulletin, I simply cannot recommend the Quick Heal scanning solution. Quick Heal Internet Security 2011 identified less native threats than competing solutions and performed poorly when it came to browser based threats. The Internet and browsers are where the real battle is being fought today. It is imperative for any serious security solution to excel in identifying browser based threats.
In my opinion, Quick Heal Internet Security 20 falls short of being an effective security solution. The firewall provides average protection at best and has no options available that give the end user an opportunity to improve it. The scanning engine is less than effective and my experience with the browser protection found it to be severely lacking. Beyond basic application performance, Quick Heal is also poorly positioned to protect against malware that would seek to end its critical services and processes leaving a system with no protection at all. This suite is one I hesitate to even apply the "Buy for Geeks!" award to. It certainly does not belong on Grandma’s computer.